OUR PRAYER

+ May our holy father Francis pray to the Lord that we may have the grace to observe the Gospel with greater devotion.  Amen.

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Two Works of Caravaggio


















I

In jaundiced skin enclosing bitter bile,

And self-deceived by hedonistic lies,

Sick Bacchus, in defiance, tries to smile,

The smirk denied by sad, icteric eyes.

With muscles tense and stiff as prison bars

He crushes all the sweetness he would hold.

That desperate grasp at comfort too is ours

Who, futile in our drudgery, grow old:

If Love is not the Lodestar on our way,

In tilling stony ground and barren soil,

Then anxiously we dread each dawning day

Like Sisyphus, relentless in his toil.

And so we labor, year by weary year,

If all that’s wrought is only wrought in FEAR.












II

In Ecstasy Saint Francis now reclines,

His soul here pierced by Love’s exquisite pain.

All other joys forever he declines,

Embraced in gentle Beauty’s tender reign.

A deep repose he enters, yet awake,

Surrendering all, but suffering no loss,

As he found rest in laboring for the sake

Of him whose arms were opened on the Cross.

For if in quiet trust we sink the root,

And no more yield to shrill commands of Fear,

The tree beside still waters shall bear fruit

And we shall sing the crowning of the year.

For here’s the key – it moves the stars above –

The only work God works in us is LOVE.


Desmond Alban SSF

Holy Cross Priory, Toronto

14 April, 2018

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